DIY Embellished Jean Jacket

Embellish Jacket DIY 5I’ve been eyeing embellished jean jackets for a while now. Also, I have this bleached out jean jacket that doesn’t get much wear. (The bleach job was another DIY project from when I first started the London College of Style program. I bleached it out on the beach rocks of Couer d’Alene at my sister’s lake home.) There’s no denying that I gravitate toward a boho vibe. It’s part of my hippy chick style, and I think it’s to be expected after all the places I’ve spend most of my adult life. Rather than purchase an embellished jacket, I decided to make my own. I got it started, and the tailored did the rest. I may miss having a plain white, bleached out jean jacket, but I think I’ll get more wear out of this colorful, funky take on a jacket staple.

Keep reading to see how I made an embellished jean jacket….

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DIY Embellished Jean Jacket

1. Choose a Jean Jacket.

There are a couple of stories behind the jean jacket I chose. I already mentioned I bleached it. One of my early assignments for achieving my styling certification was to alter clothing in three ways: dying, bleaching, and embellishment. This jacket was my bleaching attempt. The original jacket was picked up at one of my sister’s Thursday Night Girl’s Night. Imagine my delight of about 12 very fashionable women dumping a garbage bag of their belongings to be traded around. The party was at Jill’s house and I scored more than a few items from Joelle. Oh, what a night! I pine to attend more of those Thursday night get togethers.

I was lucky to have a jean jacket. If you need to buy one, first I suggest your local thrift shop. If that doesn’t work, I’d say head to the Gap. Both my jean jackets (this one and my denim one) are from the Gap. You can’t really go wrong with their selection.

Embellish Jacket DIY Supplies

2. Rummage for the embellishments.

Next up, I searched around for the embellishments that I would add to the jacket. I found a little embroidered purse in one of Hong Kong’s lady markets. I also found different trimmings plus some tassels. I shopped all my necklaces and chose a few that I thought might match. I actually wasn’t quite sure what I would use and if even all of it, but I wanted options as I pinned items on.

3. Pin the embellishments on.

After I cut the purse apart and had created patches of sorts I started placing the embroidered patches onto the jacket in various assortments. Once I was happy with an arrangement, I pinned it on. Then, out of my trimmings I found that the black and gold looked best. The jacket is pretty colorful, so I stopped there and did not add any jewellery or tassels. (This isn’t to say with a couple of more wears that I might want to add some more to the jacket.)

Embellish Jacket DIY Pin On 2

Embellish Jacket DIY Pin On

4. Glue and stitch on the embellishments. Or better yet, cheat!

Once I’d arranged the embellishments, I had planned on gluing everything on and then hand stitching each embellishment to the jacket. But then, since I was DIYing in Thailand, I thought to myself, “Wait. There are some really good–not to mention very inexpensive–tailors here in Thailand. Use one!” So that’s what I did. Well actually the hotel helped me out: I asked the front desk if they could take it in to a tailor and the next day, I owed US$10 for a beautiful job done. I thought it was well worth the money–especially after how difficult this stitch job was!

*Be forewarned!

However if you cheat like I did and send your garment off without speaking directly to your tailor, you might end up with sewn shut pockets! Here I am realizing that this jacket is now pocketless. Funny right?

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Would you like an Embellished Jean Jacket?

I really enjoyed making this jacket–despite the fact that part of it was sourced. Would you like one? Similar to this fun ostrich clutch that I’ve offered in my Shop, I’d love to make an embellished jacket for you too. All you have to do is enquire….

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  • Jodie Filogomo

    So creative Ann!! It’s a great way to cover up stains or holes too!!! jodie

  • This turned out great! Even if you can no longer use the pockets ; )

    The small purse you used to create this was a great find.


  • SheelaGoh

    You did it, Annie!! And it looks AMAZE-BALLS!!! Even if the pockets are sewn shut 🙂 I love the idea of taking an embroidered clutch aside and repurposing those exquisite panels into appliques the way you did. I’ve never quite done anything like this myself, I think the closest would be when I was in a Keith Haring mood and drew all sorts of things on a pair of ripped denim shorts LOL nothing quite as lovely and finished as yours. I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of it on your blog. Although, I must say, it’ll take quite a bit to beat this absolutely spectacular pairing here xoxo

  • This is fantastic, now I need to find me a white denim jacket

    You are rocking this leopard jumpsuit, white gutties and fabulous DIY….too cool by far.
    After seeing your Insta pic of your jumpsuit I was inspired to get my own version!
    Not as bold as yours and I will need to wait for warmer wear BUT it is waiting in the wings.
    Thank you for the inspiration! XXX

  • Dawn Lucy

    Fabulous! Amazing! (And I sure wish we had cheap tailoring around here!)

    Dawn Lucy